Pumpkins For Your Pumpkins

A 17 year tradition! Use an open cookie cutter wiped with veggie oil or baking spray and fill it right on the griddle. You might need to run a knife around the edge after you flip, but it's worth it.

This is an amended Martha recipe. (Click here for the recipe) I added another tablespoon of sugar, 1/4 teaspoon vanilla and 1/4 teaspoon of cinnamon (a pumpkin spice blend would be great too).

Happy Halloween – B

 

 

The Pasta My Mother Would Never Make

…I say that with love as I had a tasty and healthy upbringing. But never, not in million years, would my mother lace pasta with bacon and cream for an everyday, weekday dinner. What you do with this Bon Appetit recipe is up to you and your cardiologist. (Click here for the recipe)

However, if you need an excuse, invite friends over on a Friday. It's that simple to put together at the end of a work week. Really.

Notes: I switched out the pasta for what I had and reduced the quantity by a quarter. I also subbed dried thyme for fresh and cut the amount in half.

 

Mangia – B

 

No Recipe, Just Roasted Veggies

Incredibly flexible, super simple…big batch roasted vegetables help compensate for the loss of summer.

These babies all spent time in a 400 degree oven, with tougher stuff like squash, peppers and onions hitting the racks first, tomatoes going in last- 10-15 minutes til bursting. Prep time 10 minutes, cooking time for 1/2-3/4 inch chunks up to half an hour. Adding cloves of garlic in their skin add to flavor when you squeeze out the caramel goodness later.

While this veg batch is nearly naked (a quick toss with olive oil and salt), lots of other herbs could doll up the final result (cumin, coriander, cayenne anyone?).

Then have fun. An ez side dish. Serve with rice and hot sauce. Toss with pasta, fresh mozzarella & basil. Layer on your fave crusty bread with chicken and/or cheese . A little balsamic on the hot vegetables adds zip. Works for leftover lunches. If you purée with stock (and choose type and quantity of onion wisely) you've got soup!

My list:

Eggplant

Zucchini

Yellow & red pepper

Red onion

1 quart cherry tomatoes

*roast new or chunks of Idaho potato too – serve with fried or poached egg

Eat-B

 

Getting Closer Carrots

A couple of years ago, my radio producer and I ate the best roasted carrots ever from The Little Owl – cooked with olive oil, almost black in color, we couldn't stop talking about them.

Since then (actually before), I've been working on my glazed carrot technique (don't laugh). And while this recipe can't compare, it was damn good. As an added bonus – my non-carrot eating youngest, claims these were the carrots he likes. **Note: Not knowing his newfound affinity to carrots, I made a small batch. Feel free to double down. I may for après thanksgiving.

Ingredients

1/2 pound carrots, peeled & chunked (or whittled carrots)

Nub of unsalted butter (tablespoon-ish)

Tablespoon-ish of light brown sugar

A few sprigs fresh thyme, or 2 pinches dried

Salt & pepper if desired

Use pan wide enough for carrots to spread across the bottom. Add enough water to just below covering carrots. Add butter & thyme. Cover, bring to a boil, then lower heat to small bubble away. Crack the lid after a few minutes to evaporate the water.

The goal is to get water to evaporate while cooking carrots through – play with heat and lid, you can always add more water (slim carrots cooked through in about 10 minutes). Add sugar and let dissolve over medium or lower heat – let most moisture disappear and allow carrots to caramelize. Sugar can bubble a little. Toss about to prevent burning sugar. Serve when desired color is reached. Remove any thyme stems.

Eat – B

 

Best Corn Dish So Far

One of my kids won't eat corn on the cob. (An aside – she didn't eat ice cream for the first 5-ish years either and only recently learned to appreciate. Where are the genetics?!)

So, I spend my knife skills cutting corn from the cob. And though it's not as good this time of year as in late August, global sourcing means year round corn availability.

This dish will cover long travelled corn's shortfalls…with BACON!

Ingredients

3-4 slices of bacon, crisped & crumbled (more if you're snacking)

1 small or 1/2 large onion, any color

1/2 bell pepper, any color

Kernels from 4 ears of corn or a couple of cups frozen kernels

4 scallions chopped

Salt & pepper

Crisp bacon, mostly drain the fat (or not – I didn't) and cook onion 3-4 minutes. Add bell pepper and cook veg until a bit softened, 3-ish minutes. Add corn. Cook 2-3 minutes, longer if using frozen corn. Add scallions & bacon. Stir, season & serve.

Eat – B

Add-ons: 1 chopped jalapeño (add w bell pepper) or pinch of cayenne. A dash of cream – add off the heat at the end, give a stir. And/or sprinkle of your fave melt able cheese.

 

Caramel Chicken

Mine is not as pretty as the recipe in the October Bon Appetit (I have so little patience for browning!). BUT, it is super tasty and a great alternative to any of your other chicken standbys. Read the recipe carefully. (Click here to read it) It takes as much time as predicted which is more than you might think. Best for days when you are not behind the dinner 8 ball 🙂

Don't forget the rice. It's the perfect sauce sponge.

Eat – B

 

Sauce!

I say this with love…even my husband can make this tomato sauce. He was the first to call me and discuss the obit of our grand dame of Italian cooking, Marcella Hazan. That's where I saw the recipe, ringing bells about butter and tomatoes that had faded from memory. (Click here for the recipe)

My advice – add this weapon to your arsenal of kitchen favorites. The handful of ingredients are readily available from pantry and fridge – a savior for last minute family dinners or entertaining.

And let's not pretend that you are butter averse…I saw you eating over-priced pastries at the farmer's market. 😉

Btw – I didn't have enough canned tomatoes, adding chunks of late summer faves doesn't hurt a bit.

Mangia – B